Indian Super League (ISL) club Mumbai City FC has signed a multi-year agreement with Stake News, a platform affiliated with Stake.com.
A sports news platform, Stake News uses the same branding as the international crypto-sportsbook and casino operator which has been pursuing an extensive marketing strategy over the past two years.
The agreement covers front-of-shirt sponsorship, with Stake News branding appearing on Mumbai City first team match and training kits from the 2022/23 season onwards.
Kandarp Chandra, Mumbai City FC CEO, remarked: “We are delighted to partner with Stake News and welcome them to the Mumbai City family. Through the recent years, our focus has remained on bringing the fans closer to the club, both physically and digitally.
“Stake News’ support will help us accentuate our intent of engaging with our fans not just online, but on ground as well in what will be the first time we see fans return to the stadiums after two years.
“On behalf of Mumbai City, I would like to express my gratitude to Stake News and we look forward to building a successful relationship with our new principal partner.”
As well as securing front-of-shirt sponsorship, the platform will be integrated into Mumbai City’s digital communication networks, functioning as a news source for followers of the club.
Further expanding the Stake brand’s football presence, partnership with Mumbai City follows a deal with Premier League side Everton FC.
This agreement was not without controversy, however, having been agreed ahead of a vote by Premier League clubs regarding the future of the English top-flight’s relationship with betting – which could see a phase out of front-of-shirt sponsorships.
With the publication of the Gambling Act review White Paper also due next month, and with social responsibility concerns widespread, 20,000 Everton fans also signed a petition against the partnership.
Additionally, gambling is a legal grey area in India. Endorsement of betting operators by celebrities and sports clubs is generally prohibited and has been struck down in legal rulings in the past.
Stake News’ deal with Mumbai City – which includes front-of-shirt sponsorship – circumvents such legislation due to the platform being an affiliate of the crypto casino operator, but still using the same branding.
“Stake News is delighted that Mumbai City FC has signed us on as their Principal Partner for the upcoming season,” added Akhil Sarin, Director of Acquisition, Stake News. “We fully bought into the club’s plans for expansion and can’t wait to see our branding on the shirt.
“This partnership will give us an opportunity to build a community of sports enthusiasts in India by bringing resourceful news and driving key awareness within the global sports market.”